Join Ran Ben Avraham for an in-depth discussion in this video Add a camera to the scene and rig it, part of After Effects Motion Graphics: Creating Fire and Brimstone Type Animation.
- [Voiceover] At this point I can safely say that our volcano model is just about completed. Next I would like to start animating the scene. First I would like to animate a camera. Now I don't like adding keyframes directly to a camera, I usually prefer creating a rig for it. So first let's go to our camera, toggle it down and reset it's transformation. Let's zoom out of it, see what's going on. Now let's close this up and we'll create a new null object, control, alt, shift, Y and we'll rename this null to P_Null and let's hit F4 to toggle between the switches and modes, and we'll convert this position null to our 3D layer.
Now let's duplicate this null and we'll name it to R_Null which is rotation null, wonderful. Now, here's what we're going to do. We are going to mark the camera, we are going to parent the camera to the position null, and we are going to parent the position null to the rotation null. So what's the benefit of rigging a camera this way instead of parenting the camera just to one null and animating it both in position and rotation? Well the main difference is that it doesn't matter where we move our camera, let's actually hit P to reveal the position of the position null, and select a random position in space.
Let's actually zoom out and maybe move a bit to the top and now maybe a bit to the right. If my camera was connected just to this null, actually it is connected just to this null, but if I would rotate my camera through this null, my anchor would be this point in space. However since my position null is parented to the rotation null, the rotation null is still in it's original place in the center of our scene and if I'll try to rotate the rotation null now, the rotation anchor point remains in the center of the scene, so it doesn't matter where I go, I can always rotate around this center.
Well I've rotated it too much, let's click control Z here, maybe try rotating it a bit on the Z axis and maybe rotate it back. And so on and so forth. So now that the advantage of using two nulls instead of one is clear, let's zero out everything here. Wonderful. So to sum this up, we have created a camera with a very simple rig.
The camera is connected to a 3D null which will be in charge of the position and the position null is parented to a second 3D null which will be in charge of the rotation. It's a very simple rig and a very handy one as well.
In this course, you'll learn to take advantage of these powerful features. The first half of this course uses AE as if it were true 3D software, producing a unique 3D landscape—a volcano spouting fire and brimstone—rendered into several image sequence passes. In the second half, author Ran Ben Avraham shows how to use AE's powerful compositing abilities to combine the render passes, add environment particles, build 3D text, and use a few post-production tricks to produce this "volcanic" scene.
Like all of our project-based learning experiences, each step of the process is rich with object lessons that are applicable to scenarios the motion design artist will face in real-world productions.
- Working with the FreeForm Pro plugin
- Modeling the volcano
- Adding lava flow to the color and displacement maps
- Animating the camera in the scene
- Filling in gaps with FreeForm Pro
- Lighting the scene
- Rendering multiple passes
- Compositing the render passes
- Creating a smoke particle system
- Building 3D text
- Adding effects
- Time remapping